“This is what the Lord says, he who made the earth, the Lord who formed it and established it — the Lord is his name: ‘Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know.’” — Jeremiah 33:2-3
Some professional athletes use some of their abundant wealth to help those in need and champion good causes. For example, former MLB player Albert Pujols set up the Pujols Family Foundation to help those living with Down syndrome here in the U.S., and to improve the lives of the impoverished in the Dominican Republic, where he was raised. In a world full of problems, generous athletes can inspire us to take action and do what we can with what we have — to be a light in the midst of hardship and tragedies, even if we can’t make sense of them.
It is natural to wrestle with why there are such trials and troubles in the world. Even though we know suffering entered the world when Adam and Eve sinned in the Garden of Eden, the smartest scholars can’t explain all the trouble in the world. However, a God exists who hears and helps when we call Him.
When the prophet Jeremiah didn’t understand the many problems he faced, he didn’t stop praying and trusting that God would hear him. While Jeremiah prayed, God had a rescue plan in the works. God carried him through his troubles and even orchestrated lifting him up out of a pit to preserve his life through the bravery of an Ethiopian eunuch serving in the palace of the king. “Then the king commanded Ebed-Melek the Cushite, ‘Take thirty men from here with you and lift Jeremiah the prophet out of the cistern before he dies'” (Jeremiah 38:10). Jeremiah couldn’t see how God was working behind the scenes, but He had heard Jeremiah and was working things for Jeremiah’s good.
In every situation, God listens to our cries and prayers. Though He doesn’t always give us the answer we want — He answers according to His ultimate plan, which He works for our good — we can be reassured that He is not ignoring us, and wants us to call to Him.
God’s promise to Jeremiah is a promise for all believers: “This is what the Lord says, he who made the earth, the Lord who formed it and established it — the Lord is his name: ‘Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know’” (Jeremiah 33:2-3).
God’s desire is for us to come to Him in the midst of our problems. Our best and only real hope is found in Him.
Blind Bartimaeus experienced this truth firsthand in Mark 10: “… a blind man, Bartimaeus was sitting by the roadside begging. When he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to shout, ‘Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!’ Many rebuked him and told him to be quiet, but he shouted all the more, ‘Son of David, have mercy on me!'” (10:46-48). Note how he didn’t let others deter him from crying out to the One who gave him hope. He was well-acquainted with trouble and hardship in his life, and if he was like most of us, he had spent some time trying to make sense of it all. But he didn’t let confusion or bitterness allow him to give up. He kept calling out.
Here’s where the promise to Jeremiah was also fulfilled for this blind beggar: “Jesus stopped and said, ‘Call him.’ So they called to the blind man, ‘Cheer up! On your feet! He’s calling you.’ Throwing his cloak aside, he jumped to his feet and came to Jesus” (10:49-50). Bartimaeus had no idea what Jesus’ answer would be when he called out — ultimately he was healed because of his genuine faith — but knowing that the Lord of the universe had heard him despite the loud crowd all around him was enough for him.
While we all hope that our prayers are answered in the way we’d like to see, our deepest need is to be known, heard and seen by Someone who has it all figured out. He is the God who knows, hears and sees.
— Bill Kent, Pastor of Memorial Baptist Church, Sylvania, Georgia
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